Toyota Expanding Hybrid Development

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Toyota has secured its place in the minds and hearts of hybrid fans with the Prius and has since continued to release new versions of its existing vehicles with hybrid powertrains. Emissions standards are forcing all automakers to improve fuel efficiency and Toyota plans to expand its hybrid development to meet those standards.

The EPA recently announced that it will be standing by the corporate average fuel economy standard of 54.5 mpg by 2025, which means there’s not a huge choice in the matter. While some automakers may balk at these guidelines, Toyota aims to be ready by focusing on gasoline-hybrid development to speed the introduction of engines that will let them meet these goals.

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It’s not just the U.S. that is demanding green cars to help the environment. Regulations across the world aimed at improving air quality make it essential for automakers to find a way to produce more fuel-efficient engines that will help reduce emissions.

Toyota is expanding its hybrid technology development team by 30 percent through 2021. They expect this to help them introduce 19 new lower-emission powertrain components.

If they succeed, then a minimum of 60 percent of the cars they sell in Japan, China, Europe, and the U.S. will feature these new components. The net effect will be to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least 15 percent compared to the vehicles it sold in 2015. They’re taking a global approach to addressing an issue that’s still being handled differently by different governments. Despite varying regulations, the fuel economy standard is moving higher no matter where you live.

Although there is still a strong push from regulators to get automakers focused on electric vehicles, hybrids are considerably more popular with consumers. The growing number of electric choices has done little to change their percentage of the market.

Hybrids, however, are now being seen as commonplace. The hesitation to buy the technology is disappearing making them a more popular choice for consumers. Toyota is focusing their efforts where consumers are more likely to spend their money.

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Toyota sells roughly 10 million cars a year, making even small improvements to their fleet fuel economy a big deal. Their goal is to reduce global average CO2 emissions of their vehicles by 90 percent by the year 2050. The expectation is that hybrid vehicles will increase from 10 percent of the company’s sales to 20 percent by 2025.